Bay Hill Dartboard Picks

“These Guys Are Good!”

“The Best Players In The World”

“On Any Given Sunday…”

All clever mottos designed to capture the depth of the fields on the PGA Tour. And each week, various prognosticators stroke their chins, furrow their brows and then come up with a list of the likely winners. So much talent. Who will it be this week?

Each week the staff at assembles their best guesses supported by their reasons (recent play mostly). They do it in a “draft” process whereby the writers go in turn and once they pick a winner, that player is off the board. They also ask who their pick would be without that constraint.  Here’s this week’s picks and the players who would have garnered multiple votes:

Rickie Fowler

Tiger Woods (3)

Graeme McDowell

Brandt Snedeker

Dustin Johnson (4)

Hunter Mahan

Martin Laird

Gary Woodland

Justin Rose

Zach Johnson

Back in my corporate finance days–way back in my corporate finance days–there were two theories that always captured my imagination. The first was the Random Walk Theory, the idea that stocks move in a random and unpredictable path in the short run.

The other is the Dartboard Theory of picking stocks. It states that if you ignore all data and just randomly select a portfolio of stocks, that portfolio will do as well as the stock pickers who bring all the their financial wisdom to the task.

So this morning, I’ve put together a randomly selected 10-man list from the 120-man field. Using ten random numbers between 1 and 120, each player was selected off the alphabetical list of the field:

Stephen Ames

Chris Couch

Ben Curtis

David Duval

Bill Hass

Edoardo Molinari

John Senden

Michael Sim

Henrik Stenson

Bo Van Pelt

Logic immediately pulls me to begin detailing their records and recent play as some sort of predictor of whether one of them could actually be successful, but it’s a trap! There’s no logic to this! Other than the talent-laden fields of the PGA Tour.

But as the tournament unfolds during the week, I’ll be checking on them and let you know if someone gets into the thick of it. Just for the fun of it, not to cast aspersions on the staff. 

The Dartboard was originally begun in the Wall Street Journal and was discontinued after 14 years. The reason? The experts won a lopsided victory over the long term. We’d be in a real information pickle without our experts. But still the romance of the possibility of it is irresistible. And in Chris Couch, Bill Haas, John Senden and Bo Van Pelt, we’ve got some hot players on the list. Besides the Wall Street Journal lists were a very small portfolio of just four stocks. So with a larger sample size, it could work! Or is it just another form of Fool’s Gold?

We’ll see.

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